Cottonwood baseball wins region title in a dogged quest for a state crown
May 23, 2019 12:25PM
By Brian Shaw
Dylan Reiser fields a grounder during the season. The towering Reiser has been a steady contributor both on the mound and behind the plate. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]yjournals.com
For the Cottonwood baseball team, last year's early exit left a bad, bad taste in their mouths.
Now the rest of their opponents have been feeling the pain all season. Whether it was preseason or the regular season, it hasn't mattered.
Over the entire 2019 season, Cottonwood has defeated its opponents by an average score of 10-2. The Colts went 22-3 overall and 14-1 in region play, winning six of those league games by the 10-run rule in five innings or less.
What's even more impressive is that Cottonwood allowed just 29 runs in 15 games in region play.
Altogether, the Colts racked up impressive stats en route to another Region 7 crown.
While the Colts are happy winning the league hardware—and it will look nice in the Cottonwood High trophy case—the ultimate prize in 2019 is a 5A state championship.
Cottonwood was denied last year after winning the 5A state title in 2017. While nobody is out-and-out saying it's payback time, there's a sense around the Colts locker room of some unfinished business.
And so far in 2019, the Colts have acted like somebody stole their state championship trophy from their trophy case. They have rolled past their first two opponents at the 5A state playoffs. They 10-run ruled Woods Cross in the state opener May 13, allowing just one hit over five innings in the 10-0 victory.
Cottonwood then trounced Maple Mountain 7-1 in the 5A state second round on May 15, showcasing their depth at pitcher and in the field as Ross Dunn gave up five hits.
The Colts also scored five runs in the second inning and never looked back, getting a tape measure home run from senior Daniel Gonzalez along with stingy defense to move on comfortably to the winners bracket, where they'll next face Timpanogos after press time May 21.
Of course, for those who recall, this point—the 5A state quarterfinal—is exactly where those wheels began to fall off the school bus that Cottonwood took down Interstate 15 to Utah Valley University.
The Colts lost that quarterfinal game 3-0 to Skyridge last May, planting them squarely in the proverbial back seat—or the one-loss bracket—where two games later, they exited the 2018 state tournament in shocking fashion.
But the Colts avoided that catastrophe defeating Timpanogos, a team they 10-run ruled in preseason, by a score of 4-1. The victory set up a rematch with region foe and defending state champ, Jordan. In a tight game, Cottonwood rallied from 1-0 down scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to secure a spot in the title game on May 24.